Local shares are extending their winning run into a fourth consecutive day on Friday. The ASX 200 is lifting 16 points or 0.25% to 6,631 despite a rather mixed lead from Wall Street overnight, which eased from earlier highs on concerns over supply chain issues for immediate delivery of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Today’s improvements have the Aussie market on track for a fifth weekly advance with a gain of 31 points or 0.45% for the benchmark index. Leading the charge today are financials and IT with the majority of sectors climbing. The only sectors to fall are materials and healthcare.
The major banks are among the biggest contributors in helping drive the market higher. Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is lifting 1% while Macquarie Group (MQG) is 2.2% higher as it continues to firm following announcement of an acquisition of a US financial services business yesterday for $2.3 billion.
Iron ore miners are weaker even with the iron ore price continuing its ascent to 7-year highs, breaking above US$137/tonne as demand from China remains strong and production from Vale, another major producer in Brazil, remains softer than previously expected. Major players, Fortescue Metals (FMG), Rio Tinto (RIO) and BHP Group (BHP) are all in decline having surged between 4.9% and 13.3% yesterday.
Gold miners are also trading in the red even as gold futures were trading higher. Regis Resources (RRL) is one of the worst, down 5% while Evolution Mining (EVN) is 2.5% softer and Newcrest (NCM) is dropping 1.4%.
In company news, retail group Premier Investments (PMV) the company behind brands like Smiggle, Peter Alexander and Jay Jays, is holding its virtual AGM today. PMV reported 70% growth in online sales for the first 18 weeks of FY21 compared to last year while achieving record trading for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Shares are up 0.5%.
On the economic front, retail spending for October rose 1.4% which was below expectations of 1.6% growth for the month. The Aussie dollar has not responded much to the release as it remains at 74.4 US cents and around the best levels since August 2018.
Published by CommSec